Category: SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION

Stories and ideas about being in harmony and at peace with the Creator.

MILF RECOGNIZES PBCI FOR OUR “UNWAVERING SUPPORT TO THE BANGSAMORO PEACE PROCESS”

This afternoon, 27 March 2024, our team at PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) participated in the 10th Year Commemoration of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) at Camp Darapanan, the Administrative Offices of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The MILF presented a Plaque of Appreciation to PBCI in recognition of our “unwavering support to the Bangsamoro Peace Process” and for our “tireless efforts to promote peace and development in Mindanao.” Our President & CEO, L. Daniel ‘Lakan’ Pantoja, received the plaque on behalf of our community. The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) is a peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), aimed at ending decades of conflict in the Bangsamoro region.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/03/milf-recognizes-pbci-for-our-unwavering-support-to-the-bangsamoro-peace-process/

JOJI SPEAKS AT THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES TO PROMOTE SENATE BILL 782, ALSO KNOWN AS “THE PRESENT BILL”

In a landmark move towards combating poverty and fostering inclusive growth, the submission of Senate Bill 782 or the Poverty Reduction through Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) program marks a significant milestone. “The essence of the PRESENT bill,” Joji Pantoja explains, “lies in its commitment to empower communities through social entrepreneurship.” By recognizing the impoverished not merely as recipients of aid but as active participants in the economic landscape, the program aims to create sustainable solutions to systemic issues. Ms Pantoja was invited to the Philippines Senate to share the vision of collaborative progress, where communities are equipped with the tools and resources to uplift themselves. “Through the PRESENT Program,” Joji adds, “we embark on a journey towards a more equitable and prosperous future… let us embrace the power of social entrepreneurship to transform lives and build thriving communities.”

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/03/joji-speaks-at-the-senate-of-the-philippines-to-promote-senate-bill-782-also-known-as-the-present-bill/

JOJI PANTOJA SEES HER VISION OF MULTIPLYING ETHICS-ORIENTED SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS THROUGH PAR FRAMEWORK

The Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC) recently hosted a Conference on Social Ethics and Entrepreneurship, featuring Joji Pantoja, President & CEO of Coffee for Peace (CFP), as the keynote speaker at the plenary session held on 20 February 2014. Joji’s presentation centered around the peacebuilding framework of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) that emphasizes achieving harmony across various aspects of life and transformation: harmony with the Creator (spiritual-ethical transformation); harmony with our being (psycho-social transformation); harmony with others (socio-political transformation); and, harmony with the creation (economic-ecological transformation). Joji also delved deeper into how human dignity, environmental responsibility, and good governance contribute to her vision of multiplying ethical social entrepreneurs.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/02/joji-pantoja-sees-her-vision-of-multiplying-ethics-oriented-social-entrepreneurs-through-par-framework/

WE PARTICIPATED IN THE CELEBRATION OF THE 22ND FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE MINDANAO PEOPLES’ CAUCUS

09-11 February 2024, Cotabato City.  A gathering of Civil Society Organization leaders who compose the Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) marked the commemoration of the organization’s 22nd Founding Anniversary. The event also served as a poignant reminder of MPC’s transformative role within Mindanao’s social fabric. We have had the privilege of being part of MPC since 2006, and it’s been an incredibly transformative experience for us. Through our involvement with MPC, we’ve witnessed firsthand the power of dialogue and collaboration in fostering peace and understanding among diverse communities in Mindanao. Together, we’ve participated in forums, engaged in discussions, and worked towards common goals of social justice and reconciliation. MPC has provided us with a platform to contribute to positive change in our region, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a vital movement for peace and development.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/02/we-celebrated-the-22nd-founding-anniversary-of-the-mindanao-peoples-caucus/

TOP SIX COFFEE PRODUCERS FROM LANAO DEL SUR RECEIVE ADVANCED ‘FARMERPRENEURIAL’ TRAINING

30-31 January 2024. Our CFP-PBCI Inclusive Development (IncluDev) Team hosted the most productive farmers from Lanao del Sur for Coffee Farmer-Entrepreneurial Training. In the morning of the first day, they were brought to the Davao Peace Hub to enhance their skills in practicing and sharing Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Principles; they also had coffee roasting and packaging workshop there. In the afternoon, they were welcomed to the Coffee for Peace Cafe to learn about coffee tasting and aroma appreciation. On the morning of the second day, our staff at the Malipayon Peace Hub facilitated a workshop on post-harvest processing skills; they also presented the coffee beans they brought from their farms which were evaluated by seasoned coffee entrepreneurs.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/01/top-six-coffee-producers-from-lanao-del-sur-receive-advanced-farmerpreneurial-training/

ALONG WITH OUR COLLEAGUES, WE WELCOME THE RESUMPTION OF THE NDF-GPH PEACE TALKS

We, at PeaceBuilders Community, join our colleagues in expressing our support and appreciation to both the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in resuming the Peace Talks as communicated in the Oslo Joint Statement signed last 23 November 2023. Our perspective from the ground compels us to amplify the voices of the people with whom we’ve been working. We pray that both GRP and NDFP would focus on resolving the root of armed conflict — that is, the persisting landlessness of the farmers, widespread poverty, depressed wages of workers, and the lack of local, inclusive, industrial development. We are listening to the fresh perspective of the GRP and to the clarifying focus of the NDFP as they both approach the negotiating table. May the God of justice and peace sustain and bless this resumption of peace talks.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/01/along-with-our-colleagues-we-welcome-the-resumption-of-the-ndf-gph-peace-talks/

‘2023 CHRISTMAS’ IS MORE OF A COMMEMORATION THAN A CELEBRATION

Christmas 2023 carries a somber weight, serving as a commemoration rather than a jubilation. The world, marred by conflicts in Gaza, the West Bank, and various oppressive wars, casts a shadow on the season’s usual cheer. The heartbreaking inaction of the international community in the face of genocide and ethnic cleansing further dims the festive spirit. It’s a stark reminder of the unfathomable cruelty humans inflict upon their own kind, underscoring the urgent need for compassion, solidarity, and genuine peace in a world torn by inhumanity. The sermon titled “Christ Under the Rubble,” delivered by The Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac, pastor of the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, strikes a chord within me. If Jesus were to be born today, he will be found under the rubble. This poignant sermon resonates deeply, emphasizing the enduring strength found in faith and the embodiment of hope, especially as we experience Christmas 2023 in the context of a decolonizing process.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/12/appropriate-and-authentic-2024-christmas-is-more-of-commemoration-than-a-celebration/

PBCI-CFP FAMILY HOLDS ‘DAY OF GRATITUDE’: TO THE CREATOR, TO THE JOURNEY OF BECOMING, TO OUR COMMUNITY, TO THE CREATION

18 December 2023. In the tapestry of our existence as members of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee for Peace (CFP), gratitude serves as the golden thread that weaves together the fabric of our lives. It is a powerful force that connects us to the Creator, the journey of becoming, our community, and the vast creation that surrounds us. In this season of remembering the Birth of Jesus Christ in the context of the 2023 ethnic cleansing and genocide in the Land of Palestine — his country of birth, we spend a day of reflection together. We delve into the profound significance of expressing gratitude in these various dimensions of our existence. Gratitude goes beyond mere politeness or saying “thank you”; it is a heartfelt and intentional practice that can have transformative effects on both individuals and communities.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/12/pbci-cfp-family-holds-day-of-gratitude-to-the-creator-to-the-journey-of-becoming-to-our-community-to-the-creation/

JUSTICE-BASED PEACEBUILDING IN THE FACE OF ETHNIC CLEANSING AND GENOCIDE: A PERSPECTIVE FROM MINDANAO

The imperialist colonizers have a common set of infamy — ethnic cleansing and genocide. The mindset of Spain and the United States of America considered our lands as resources to be exploited and our peoples as obstacles to be removed. This mindset laid the foundation for the systematic marginalization, oppression, and violence against the Indigenous Peoples of our archipelago. Driven by the pursuit of power, wealth, and territorial dominance, these empires embarked on expansive conquests that often involved the subjugation of indigenous populations in our country. Through our similar experiences of historical injustice, we see through the American and British instigated and perpetuated Israeli occupation of Palestine. Our on-going response to these historical injustices is justice-based peacebuilding.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/11/justice-based-peacebuilding-in-the-face-of-ethnic-cleansing-and-genocide-a-perspective-from-mindanao/

OUR SPEAKING AND MEETING TOUR ACROSS CANADA WAS ENRICHING AND ENERGIZING

Last 12 October to 12 November, Joseph “Boyet”Ongkiko, Tala Alngag Bautista, and I went through a cross-Canada tour, sharing the story of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee for Peace (CFP). It was a time of face-to-face visits with our friends and supporters, celebrating our accomplishments together as partners in the work of PBCI and CFP. It was also a time to share the vision of establishing a permanent home of PBCI and CFP in one location we refer to as Malipayon Peace Hub. We started in Eastern Canada, then westward to Central Canada, and concluding the tour in British Columbia. Our message as a team is threefold: I presented the journey of PBCI-CFP from 2006 to the present. Boyet shared the new vision of educating young leaders from Indigenous Peoples’ communities through IncluDev. Tala shared her vision for the next generation Peace and Reconciliation initiatives framed in decolonization.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/11/our-speaking-and-meeting-tour-across-canada-was-enriching-and-energizing/

CHRISTIAN ZIONISM IS COMPLICIT IN THE 75-YEAR OPPRESSIVE ISRAELI OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE

Christian Zionism is a war-mongering theology which was originally taught to early Filipino converts by fundamentalist American missionaries who, wittingly or unwittingly, were supportive of the colonial interests of their imperialist country, the United States of America. This ideology, wrapped in war-oriented American geopolitics, is still perpetuated among many fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches in the Philippines. I pray that Filipinos would be healed from this blindness and see what Israel really is — an illegal occupation force in Palestine, oppressing the Palestinians for the past 75 years.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/10/christian-zionism-is-complicit-in-the-75-year-oppressive-israeli-occupation-of-palestine-2/

THE ‘MALIPAYON PEACE HUB’ CONSTRUCTION IS ON TARGET AND WITHIN BUDGET

Last Wednesday, 05 October, our team visited the Malipayon Peace Hub construction site for an exciting update! The owner of the 3A Modular PreFab, the company entrusted with this project, joined us to provide a comprehensive technical overview of the construction’s current status. We are thrilled to report that the progress is right on target and is comfortably staying within the allocated budget. This inspiring journey of building a hub dedicated to justice-based peacebuilding and reconciliation is progressing smoothly, thanks to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved, especially our impact partners.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/10/the-malipayon-peace-hub-construction-is-on-target-and-within-budget/

OUR GLOBAL PEACE COMMUNITY

We are sent by Mennonite Church Canada Witness in partnership with our international community.